Beijing to Shanghai: Places to Explore

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Hebei

Many visitors travel through Hebei without a backward glance on the way to and from the capital, but the province has several sites worth a detour. Chengde is a must for history buffs and fans of the great outdoors. The town's glory days were during the 18th century, when the Emperor Kangxi made it his summer retreat and hunting ground, filling the place with the country's largest royal garden and a bevy of opulent Buddhist temples. The emperors may be long gone, but the town still serves as a holiday destination, now for busloads of Beijing residents. Farther south, at the seaside resorts of Beidaihe and Shanhaiguan, where the Great Wall meets the sea, foreign visitors can experience a singularly Chinese take on the seaside vacation.

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